French Immersion

Our French Immersion Program

French Immersion has been offered as an optional program from senior kindergarten to Grade 12 in our Board since 1981, and is one of the most effective methods known for teaching a second language.

New this year, French Immersion begins in Kindergarten, Year 1 (formerly JK).

In our Catholic schools, the French Immersion program is "Early Immersion." Approximately 85% of instruction in kindergarten and Grade 1 is delivered in French. When English language arts, including reading, writing, and oral communication, are introduced in Grade 2, the percentage of French instruction is decreased to 75%. More English instruction is added while other subjects continue to be taught in French, following the same curriculum as the regular English program. By Grade 6, half of the instruction is in French and half is in English.

In secondary school, students are required to complete a combined total of ten credits in French and/or in other subjects taught in French to receive a certificate in French Immersion.

Early Immersion works well because it takes advantage of young children's inherent inclination to learn languages, and their natural ability for mimicry, memorization, and repetition; they face new challenges with enthusiasm and an open mind. As the teacher communicates with them in French, they complete the same activities as their peers in the English program, and easily pick up the vocabulary and rhythm of the language.

Research shows that success in learning a language is directly related to the amount of time spent hearing and speaking it. The Board's Early Immersion program offers students more time for learning French, and they naturally develop confidence and an ability to speak with native-like fluency.

Locations of French Immersion Programs

 Elementary Secondary

St. Anne Catholic Elementary School, Peterborough

St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School, Peterborough

St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Bowmanville (French Immersion Centre)

Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School, Cobourg (Grades 7 and 8)

St. Michael Catholic Elementary School, Cobourg (K to Grade 6)

St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School, Lindsay

St. Peter Catholic Secondary School, Peterborough

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School, Cobourg

St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School, Bowmanville

Career Opportunities

The French Immersion program is designed to lead to second language proficiency. Careers in fields such as education, national and foreign government service, travel and international work in commerce and industry are accessible to people who can communicate in more than one language. 

Registration

The French Immersion program begins in kindergarten, Year 1. French Immersion information meetings are usually held prior to February kindergarten registration. Please contact your local French Immersion school for dates. Criteria for late entry can be discussed with the school principal.

Transportation

Transportation is provided for qualifying students who live within the boundaries established for each school offering the French Immersion program. Use our tool to find the school nearest you. Contact the Planning and Transportation Department if you need additional assistance.

For More Information

Contact the school Principal for more information.

The Durham District School Board has developed a reference guide for parents of French Immersion students to assist parents during the first few years of their child's education. It provides an easy language reference and a way for both students and parents to become more proficient in French.